Friday, September 12, 2014

September's Fresh Beat Friday

May I be the first one to tell you, it is once again my favorite day of the week, FRIDAY!

Get your groove on this morning and start the day off right with the following list, conveniently located in a Spotify playlist (scroll to the bottom of the post), of my favorite new tracks I have on repeat.

  1. Mary Lambert - Secrets - Think back to the Macklemore fandom of last year, you'll find Mary Lambert making an appearance on the viral 'Same Love'. She's releasing her own solo tracks, and this one reminds us that we're not perfect, so stop trying to hide your secrets/imperfections. I'm a sucker a brass-section in a pop song as well, and a good traffic singalong. 
  2. Glass Animals - Black Mambo - Okay, first off, you MUST listen to their entire album ZABA. If you ever wondered what the Cheshire Cat would listen to, this would be it. Black Mambo is a great started track for those new to Glass Animals. There's just enough of a sticky hook to keep you wanting more, but there's a excellent 4:00am vibe backing that up, making this venomous combination you just have to hear.  
  3. Meg Myers - Desire - You know that plate-throwing, photo-burning, deep, lingering anger? Meg Myers grabs the heart of that anger, and proceeds to lay it out all in the open. We've all been here at least once, yelling something similar to her 'How do you want me?' over and over. 
  4. Walk The Moon - Shut Up and Dance - I've been following Walk The Moon since 2011 when they played their first West Coast show ever, which I blogged about back then. Anyways, a few hit songs and a world tour later, they are back from the studio with new infectious indie hits under their belt. Shut Up and Dance is the first official release and contrary to their first single 'Anna Sun', the lyrics are much less likely to be misinterpreted. So, shut up and dance to this surefire radio baby. 
  5. Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were - When Every Kingdom was released in 2011, I listened to that album almost non-stop for about eight months, and rekindle my love for it every six months or so. This new single from his forthcoming sophomore album is just as I would have hoped for it to sound. Then again, it's another song about lost love, and I wish people would stop breaking his heart. Nonetheless, this is the perfect kick-off song to the magic that is Autumn. All hail acoustic darlings and hot chai tea on cool October evenings!
  6. Allah-Las - Every Girl - No, that's not Gidget you see trying to catch a wave, and you're not transported inside an episode of Mad Men goes LA. It's just the retro-rock outfit, 'Every Girl' is the B-Side to their new single, 'Had It All' (which you could swear is a The Doors song). This is just the most perfect 'SoCal' song of the moment. Let's be honest, you needed a new one since that darn 'Sweater Weather' song, definitely hasn't much sweater wearing this year. 
  7. Vance Joy - Georgia - Le sigh, the hotly anticipated and swooned over Vance Joy debut album is here, and thank god. I needed something other than 'Riptide' to satisfy my needs. The entire album is a rainy Sunday morning, but 'Georgia' is my song du jour/demain. It's this innocent and folk trip away from the 2014 'Ho Hey' that is 'Riptide'. 
  8. Jaymes Young - Come Back For Me - There's not any better to describe than this is song aptly fit for the 'Drive' soundtrack. It's one of those that will hold your emotions hostage for four-and-a-minutes, and hold your head up as you speed down a freeway at 2:35am. 
  9. Jon Bellion & Audra Mae - Luxury - YAY, Brass, Indie, and Hip-Hop all in one. It's like my guilty pleasure trifecta. except this is not a track I want to hide. I love the focus on vocals entangled with a simple beat. It also has hip-hop-ish verses slow enough I can attempt to sing-along to while driving. Because guaranteed, someone will see me. 

Have a beautiful weekend :) 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Read This, Drink That #2: The One & Only - Emily Giffin

The notion of the 'beach read' for me transcends past summer. Because even in the depths of winter, a good 'beach read' is just what you need to heat up your cold days and nights. Emily Giffin has basically perfected the 'chick lit' novel, and The One & Only is the latest shining example of this.

It takes place in a small town in the wake of the passing of a Coach Carr's beloved wife in the community, and best friend of their daughter, protagonist Shea is there to provide emotional support to Coach and daughter Lucy.  Through the passion of football and the electricity of small town, Shea discovers something she never knew or expected about herself.

tasting notes

I don't care how unpredictable this novel became, I never wanted it to end, even though you could tell how would end in chapter two or three. Shea has her roots deeply seeded in her small Texas town, and her religion is devout college football-ism. From the start, Shea seems like the typical Southern girl, loves her town, dedicated to her friends, and her job at the college athletic department. She seems completely content with her job, but her sphere of influence has other plans. There's also a minute big city vs. small town congruence with Shea's estranged father and new family arriving to provide an outside influence to a rather closed-off character circle. 

While the characters never go too deep, they are believable and definitely relatable enough, I easily personified Coach Carr, Shea, Lucy, and a few others early in the novel. It made the novel a quick and easy read, alongside wanting to see exactly how the ending would play out. There one minor issue with the novel that even with the label of 'beach read' or 'chick lit' was hard to get past. The issue was how a few plot lines later in the novel were way too easily solved. It was as if a couple of the characters completely changed as people or they were zapped with the memory-blasting gadget from Men In Black, just there could be a happy ending. While this irked me a bit at the end, I definitely enjoyed the ride of roller coaster emotions throughout. 

With that aside, you do quickly fall head over heels for the notion of Shea and Coach Carr as a couple, and root for them as much as they root for their football team. Giffin does a great job about not making the entire story about their relationship and injects plenty of football jargon into the story, and even a few other romantic prospects to mess with our fragile hearts. You'll also find yourself wanting to shake the stupid out of some of Shea's decisions, but you can't look away from the disasters, including a few alcohol-powered moments, and there's some mano a mano conflict. 

The underlying theme of the entire novel isn't 'will they' or 'won't they', or about the obvious age difference it's Shea's coming-of-age even if it's a bit later in life. She's forced to face her fears of commitment, future, and the unknown. It is something we all face, they proverbial cliff of 'What If?' and what will happen if you jump, fall, or are pushed over it. What she thinks she wants, may be out of pure comfort of the luxuries of a small town. You may even see a bit of yourself in Shea and Lucy. 

How could I not pair The One & Only with Shiner Bock, it's a supporting character in the novel. Coach and Shea kindle their relationship with this little friend making an appearance a few times. Like Shea, Shiner Bock is also born and brewed in a small Texas town. It's a Bock-style 'day' beer perfect for cheering on a college football team (just not UTexas if you ask anyone in this book). You might even feel like you're sitting on the Carr's porch in Texas while reading this book and taking a Shiner beer break. 

Until next Happy Hour

Monday, September 8, 2014

4Paws #1: Ocean Beach Dog Park

Happy four days from Friday! (Can you tell I'm not a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday person??)

Let's kick off this week with a place I frequent on weekends, especially Sunday mornings, the Ocean Beach Dog Park. Now, yes, I'm aware this is practically a cop out as far as 'dog-friendly' places are concerned, however, not all dog parks locally are created equal. This is more of a list of what to look for, and pros of the dog park

First, this is my little superstar, Kennedy, basking in the gloriousness that is his favorite grassy spot in the park, and possibly the whole city.

"Mom, stop taking photos and just throw my ball please :)"

Why Do We Love this Dog Park?

  • It's well-maintained, and there's a quite large fully-fenced and secure space for Kennedy to roam free while I can be at the other end of the park in the shade. 
  • I love larger dogs, I grew up with multiple Dobermans, however, we love that there are two completely separate areas for smaller (30 lbs and under) and larger dogs to play. We've taken Kennedy on to the larger side a handful of times on his more rambunctious days, since there is much more room on that side. However, being an owner of a smaller dog that is not accustomed to playing with dogs larger than him, having two sides is great as an added safety measure. 
  • Back to the fully-fenced point for a moment, this is surprisingly not as common as you would expect, and this isn't a wooden 'kind of' fence, this is a 5-foot wire fence, and the entrance is the two-gated entry, which is even more added safety. 
  • Also, I've only run into a couple minor issues with other dogs/owners here, most are pretty attentive to their dogs, and discipline when needed. 
An Overview of the Park:

Isn't the view absolutely gorgeous?

What Do We Look For In A Dog Park?
  • Is it fully-fenced? We've encountered a few dog parks that are only partially fenced, which why bother at all? One day, Kennedy will be completely off-leashed trained, however, he is still pretty young, and we're still tackling basic leash training. 
  • Is it well-maintained and clean? There's nothing more frustrating than a park that is all dirt, covered in dog waste and puddles. For the safety and health of your dog, aim for a place that has a park crew cleaning up weekly. 
  • Is the park one with considerate dog owners? I am treading lightly on this, because every dog is different, but if your dog is not comfortable around energetic and excited dogs, considering keeping them on a leash and walking the perimeter the first few times at a new park.  Let them feel safe at their own pace in the new setting.
At the end of the day, you know what's best for your four-legged family member, this is just what we look for when searching for Kennedy's next big day out :)

-Courtney & Kennedy

Friday, September 5, 2014

On My Mind #1

Ah, sweet Friday has arrived again, I can't tell you how excited I am about this day every week. The end of a work week and the beginning of two days of magical freedom. To celebrate, here's five things I'm loving this week:

1. Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness - 'High Dive'
Here's the TL;DR of my fandom for Andrew McMahon: I was an early 2000's teen, I loved Something Corporate, I still get chills/cry when I hear 'Konstantine'. I think he's an inspiration to everyone who says they can't do something. Andrew spent two months in a cabin writing this new album, and you can read a full update article at BuzzFeed. This is the second single off his album out 10/14 and I just can't get enough.


2. ello - Syndicate Glass Water Bottle - $14.99 at Target
Thanks to my OCD, I've read more than a few article about how awful plastic bottles are even if they are BPA-Free, basically think about heat + liquid in a plastic bottle and chemicals being released. Long story short, I've started packing my lunches and leftovers in glass mason jars, and have been searching for a decent glass water bottle. Specifically one that I don't feel I going to smash instantly. Oh and it's pretty blue and makes a satisfying BLOOP sound when you open it, and dishwasher-safe! 

3. JUICE - Pulp Fiction Cold-Pressed Green Juice - $8.00 at their San Diego location
Living in Southern California means there is an abundance of juice boutiques to choose from, this is one of the newest in San Diego. Part of the restaurant magicians at Consortium Holdings, they have some of the best tasting cold-pressed juices ever. They also have something called a Blind Date, which is an almond milk, date, and cold-brewed coffee blended heaven. But Pulp Fiction won me over, it's not too green, and just enough sweet. 

Because everyone should love and be loved as passionately as Johnny Cash loved his wife. Sometimes paradise isn't Fiji or Bora Bora, it could be in your own kitchen, this quote reminds me to stop and love the things you have and cherish them because they are yours. 

5. Purple Succulents (Lilac)
This is the year I became obsessed with succulents, which is convenient since the climate here is perfect for them. I would love to decorate every room in these gorgeous purple succulents.  

Have a beautiful weekend :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Read This, Drink That #1: I Like You Just The Way I Am - Jenny Mollen

First off, a quick rundown of what Read This, Drink That is: It's a weekly Wednesday segment, where I pick a topical or popular novel and after reading, pair it with a beer that encompasses the overall feeling of the book, and my 'tasting notes' about the book.

It is rare I find a book that doesn't have me aimlessly checking my phone after every chapter. Let alone capture my interest in such a way that I start and finish a book over the course of eight hours on a Saturday. Jenny Mollen's debut memoir, I Like You Just The Way I Am does just that with effortless ease.

She crafts in the writ and humor that reminds you of Chelsea Handler, and has you laughing out loud just as much if not more. I received a copy of her book to review in part of the Books รก la Mode book club and purposely went into reading it blind so I wouldn't have any expectations

tasting notes

This reads as if you were reading texts from your best friend of years, and they were recanting their latest questionable escapes. Once you start, it's quite impossible to put down, she pulls you in from the first story about her romantically and alcoholically insatiable mother rigging her into Baja California escapades and living la vida San Diego lifestyle.

It's also comforting to realize, as you traverse within her stories, that someone out there is just as batshit as the rest of us women living in the time of our CSI-style Social Media investigations. She gets down and dirty about befriending her husband's (who is Jason Biggs) ex by stalking in her own special way. Jenny also shows the reader that we are all weirdly attached and spoil our own 'Teets', and that's a thing and it's not going away.

The latter part of the novel chronicles moments of debauchery, that could only occur within the confines of Los Angeles (and a couple weekends in Las Vegas), are as hi-jinks packed as you would expect. You'll understand all too well losing a member of your own wolf pack in Vegas. And yes, I unfortunately, only pictured Jason's sister, Veronica, as Snooki as a teacher, the entire time.

From a beach read, to a plane ride read, to a weekend vacation read, this fits the bill on all accounts, for those that enjoy uncensored humor about being a women and marrying an actor and having two egotistical, questionable, yet lovable parental units. The stories never take themselves to seriously and you'll find yourself laughing out loud at some of her signature lines, including ones about Emojis and pizza revelations.

beer pairing: Twisted Manzanita Ales - Chaotic Double IPA

Just like Jenny Mollen and her stories, Twisted Manzanita's Double IPA is strong and tells-it-like-is, with its super hoppy exterior from first taste. There's also a nice citrus sweetness rounding out the flavor, playing up Jenny's 'kill them with kindness' attitude, be it for the benefit of her own curiosity or not, she's still a sweetheart throughout. Lastly, her life is a bit Chaotic, like the namesake of the beer, but the beer isn't too brash and Jenny seems to balance everything in the end with great optimism as us girls all should.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The All-New Adventures of Tilt Shift Twenty!

Since I last wrote a blog that did not end up rejected in my lengthy list of drafts, it was January. I was not an international traveller, a future bride, and still 24. How times have changed in the past eight very short months.

In those thirty-two weeks, mainly in the most recent six, I've been re-designing Tilt Shift Twenty to better fit my intended audience, and most importantly myself. While the finalized aesthetics and personalized domain will be decided this coming month, the content has been transformed, edited, organized, and edited again.

Why relaunch?
Earlier this year, my blog became dictated by reviews of products I was sent, and left me little room for much else that fulfilled my need to creatively express myself outside my current career. Additionally, indulging in boxed wine on a Wednesday isn't a legitimate career.

What's new?

Every Monday starting next Monday, I'll be taking you along to local San Diego (and Southern California) businesses that aren't just 'dog-tolerant' but are 'actually' dog-friendly. You'll meet my four-legged superhero Kennedy who will be the true reviewer :)

The weekly segment I'm most excited about I'm leaving a surprise until its premiere this Wednesday. Stay Tuned!

Lastly, on Fridays, I'll have my free day to rant, rave, review what ever I'd like. This is where you'll see periodic wedding planning updates, life updates, and my soap box.

Come along with me on this new endeavor, this month includes Jenny Mollen's new novel, and a Benefit Cosmetics party! :)

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